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14 June 2006
Basques were fishermen more than 8,000 years ago

The Basques that settled 8,300 years ago in the Jaizkibel Mountain near the Basque coast were skillful enough to go fishing two kilometres out to sea. Those ancient humans set sail out to sea fishing, something which meant 50 percent of their diet, Aranzadi society of sciences reported after examining archaeological remains found in Gipuzkoa.
     They did not hunt whales, as their descendants many years after, neither tuna nor anchovy as the current Basque fishermen but the Basques that settled some 8,300 years ago between the Pasaia and Hondarribia coast, were skillful enough to set sail one or two kilometres out to sea to fish.
     Moving from Paleolithic to Neolithic and immersed in climatic and cultural changes, men had no alternative but to search for new ways to get food and made their way out to sea, Alvaro Arrizabalaga, member of the Aranzadi Society of Sciences and Prehistory professor at the Basque Public University explains.
     The remains discovered in Gipuzkoa show a man between 30 and 40 years old with a diet consisting on some species of fishes that are usually caught some kilometres far from the coast. Other human remains found in some caves in the Spanish region of Asturias showed similar conclusions.

Source: EITB24 (13 June 2006)

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